I am nothing
and nothing’s to be done
The longer the foggy, undulating road into my career, it is easy to feel ever more disconnected from why I started on the journey in the first place, and how it felt at the time. No doubt it did not feel like the start of a journey at all, it seemed like something to do that may just lead somewhere, or may lead somewhere else entirely.
At varying, sporadic times, but never more than now, I have wished to “give something back”. It would be easier if I actually knew what that meant: probably to help those at the start of their own journey to discover whether its a route they wish to take at all, and if so to impart the benefit of a little wisdom I wish I had received at a similar time in my life. Something of that “I wish I knew then what I know now”.
A few years ago a number of my peers and I set out to collectively do this, until it was railroaded (all too soon) by the fee-earners into just another self-important consultancy vehicle to crystalball the future of the workplace.
So I recently committed to support the graduate programme in my current role, and am off to Sheffield University shortly to give a lecture (my first ever) to a group of students that will be part “my story” and part “workplace is fantastic, you should do this”. I am not sure that’s quite enough yet, but its a start.
Giving something back is the least we can do. It defines us, and helps those coming after us to define themselves. On our own journey, at a juncture that feels right, we need to start getting out of the way to let the emerging talent through. We shouldn’t disappear into the fog along with the stories we have to tell, mumbling them over to ourselves. They need to be told. Or it will swallow us, and we will be nothing.
Your career has been good to you. Give something back.